“When all else fails, tell the truth.” – Mark Twain
(The following excerpt from Oscar Pistorius Accused Of Using Breakdowns As An Escape recently appeared on chicagotribune.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
The prosecutor in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial Monday accused the track star of using emotional breakdowns under cross-examination to evade answering questions about the night he killed his girlfriend.
The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter, who faces life in prison if convicted of murdering Reeva Steenkamp, says he shot the 29-year-old model in a tragic accident, firing at what he thought was an intruder hiding behind a locked toilet door.
The athlete has broken down numerous times during the 22-day trial, including retching into a bucket. He burst into tears again Monday morning when recounting the moment he screamed at what he thought was a burglar, prompting the judge to call a 30-minute adjournment.
State prosecutor Gerrie Nel, whose reputation as one of South Africa’s toughest attorneys has earned him the nickname “The Pitbull,” said the athlete was just putting on an act to avoid having to answer his questions.
Nel questioned why Pistorius would get upset when being asked about whether he did or did not open doors leading from his bedroom to a balcony to shout for help minutes after the shooting.
“I cannot see how that can cause you to be emotional because you cannot remember how to open a door. We’re not talking about Reeva,” Nel said, referring to previous breakdowns, which have usually been when he describes the shooting.
“You’re not using your emotional state as an escape are you?” Nel said, raising his eyebrows and shaking his head.